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Giving Birth to Your Business


It’s been a hard couple of days for me.  I’m not telling you this so you’ll feel sorry for me; I’m telling you this because it explains why I’m writing this post.  Sometimes the hardest things in life are the ones that inspire us to be more than we think we can be.  My difficulties center around the fact that I’m about eight months pregnant, and things haven’t been going so well.   

First of all, don’t worry.  As far as I know, the baby is doing just fine.  She thrashes around in there in a way that leads me to believe she is going to be one heck of a rock-and-roll drummer.  If I poke my belly, she’ll poke back, which is so cool that it sometimes keeps me from going to sleep at night.  She rolls around and scooches herself so far down into my pelvis some days that I swear she’s trying to escape.  All-in-all, she seems to be doing great. 

I, on the other hand, have had a pretty hard pregnancy.  Thanks to an old car accident, the changing shape and size of my body has led to incredible back and hip pain.  There are days when I quite honestly have a ridiculously hard time just trying to walk to the kitchen.  Sitting hurts, standing hurts, laying down hurts.  And bless my poor husband and mother because they have to listen to me whine about it!   

When I do catch myself being too negative, I always try to follow it up with the fact that it’s all worth it.  When this little person joins us in January, I will fall so madly in love that I most likely won’t even remember the nights I’ve spent rocking and crying because of the pain.  I’ll just be too full of joy and contentment (not to mention being way too busy) to think about the times I slept propped up on the couch because it hurt slightly less than lying flat in the bed.  I will be the mommy of what I’m sure is the most beautiful baby girl in the whole world. 

I told Tamara yesterday, that in some ways I feel like I’m “doubly” pregnant.  No, I don’t mean because I’m so huge that there must be twins in there!  I mean that just as I’m incubating this little person, Tamara and I are really incubating our freelance business right now.  We’re making plans for it and trying to keep it well-fed so that when the time comes, it will be strong and healthy and will someday support us.  ;-)  There really are a lot of similarities when you get right down to it. 

Weight Gain 

Gaining weight when you’re pregnant isn’t always fun, but it’s completely necessary.  In order for the baby to grow strong, Mama has to get bigger, too.  The same thing is happening with our business.  We’re reaching out to new people and making connections.  We’re bringing more clients on board. It’s scary to look at our roster and realize that we have more clients than ever to juggle and satisfy.  Mostly, though, it feels great. 


What you put into your body affects the health of the baby and the mother, and the same thing is true for our freelance business.  We can’t just feed it piddly little one-cent-a-word projects, or it will end up all malnourished and won’t ever thrive.   We’re eating our vegetables and taking our vitamins so that this developing company will be strong enough to survive on its own. 

Backaches and Headaches 

As I mentioned, this whole pregnancy thing has been pretty hard.  I have experienced aches in places that I literally did not know existed eight months ago!  Likewise, there are some hurdles and “headaches” to deal with as a freelancer that Tamara and I didn’t necessarily foresee.  There are policies that have to be developed and procedures to learn.  Heck, something as small as keeping track of receipts is new to us.  It’s nerve-wracking and all, but it’s also pretty empowering to learn what we need to do in order to be successful business women. 


In some ways, I have to admit that I feel like I’ve been a little robbed of the joy of pregnancy.  I’ve looked forward to this experience for most of my life, and to have it turn out like this is . . . well . . . frustrating, to say the least.  We’re facing our share of frustrations and concerns with our business, too.  Will we find enough work so that Tamara doesn’t have to get a part-time job?  Will the client we were so excited to get onboard turn out to be a dud?  I worry at least once a week that Tamara’s just going to call me up and say, “I changed my mind, and I don’t want to do this anymore.”  (Please don’t do that, Tamara!) 

Just like pregnancy, though, this whole incubation process has been a chance for us to nurture our embryonic business.  We’re laying the groundwork so that it can succeed, grow, and develop its own personality.  My last few months have been all about nurturing something, whether I’m reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting or The ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing.  Evenings alternate between birthing classes and online networking.  I do feel sort of “doubly pregnant” at the moment. 

Guess what, though?  I am so excited about 2008!  I expect to see the births of both a healthy baby girl and a sustainable business model in the next couple of months.  On the baby side of things, I’ve been watching what I eat and preparing for a natural childbirth.  On the business side of things, Tamara and I have studied and experimented to find the best approach.  Everyone is poised and ready for the incredible things that are now just on the horizon.  January is going to be the most amazing month of my life.

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    On December 5th, 2007 at 5:58 pm, Michele L. Tune said:

    What an inspiring post! I love how you’ve compared your pregnancy and upcoming childbirth with the birth of your business! Very interesting ;-)

    I wish you the best in 2008!


    On December 5th, 2007 at 6:13 pm, Lorna Doone Brewer said:

    Michelle - I think it’s helpful to remind myself that people don’t just spring forth completely developed and ready to take care of themselves, and neither do businesses. We have to put in the time and attention to cultivate what we want to achieve. It’s tempting to get discouraged because we’re not making a zillion dollars and getting interviewed on Oprah. On the other hand, it’s only been a couple of months, for Pete’s sake!

    On December 5th, 2007 at 11:10 pm, Laura said:

    Wow! This is like deja vu! I just wrote a review on my blog earlier this week of The ParentPreneur Edge, a book which compares the stages of business to the stages of child development.

    On December 5th, 2007 at 11:34 pm, Jessica said:

    I love all the pregnancy/starting a business metaphors!

    Being pregnant was an awful experience for me. I’m a small woman, so the last four months of my pregnancy were spent laying around and complaining about how much my back hurt and how my daughter incessantly pushed her feet against my ribs so that I couldn’t bend over.

    I complain a lot too about my back hurting from sitting at the computer and writing all day, so maybe freelancing and being pregnant aren’t so much different. The birth of a child or a business doesn’t make it easier though — they just bring a whole new set of obstacles and pains.

    But, in the end, both are also worth all of the headaches. I wish you the best of luck with the business and the natural childbirth, though I expect the natural childbirth will be the more painful of the two.

    On December 6th, 2007 at 9:06 am, Lis Garrett ~ a writer's woolgatherings said:

    What a wonderful post, Lorna! First of all, having gone through three pregnancies and all of them ROUGH experiences, I know what you mean when you say you feel a little ripped off. My pregnancies went nothing like I had imagined they would. But you’re right about one thing; once you hold your daughter in your arms for the first time, all will be forgotten.

    (mostly) ;-)

    I am starting to branch out beyond my comfort zone, and I have to constantly remind myself that freelancing IS a growing process. I can only get out of it as much as I put in. It’s up to me to nurture my career to the best of my ability. Thanks for the creative reminder!

    On December 6th, 2007 at 6:59 pm, Lorna Doone Brewer said:

    Thanks for your supportive comments, ladies. Both the pregnancy and the business have definitely offered many unexpected challenges. It’s nice to know that there is a community of folks who “get” it!

    On December 7th, 2007 at 12:29 pm, Mark Abucayon said:

    This really inspire me, while reading the article I want to do the steps..lol, because Im too excited. wow cool. nice post over there.

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